05 Jul 2018

Could the leaked Pentagon letter influence defence procurement spend?

A leaked letter from the US Defense Secretary demands that the UK increases defence spending. If the UK Government is influenced by pressure from its allies as well as from MPs on the Commons Defence Committee and does increase its defence budget, more money could be allocated to defence procurement.

Find out more about the leaked letter and what the MOD is currently spending below.


Pentagon letter

The leaked letter, which was written by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to his UK counterpart, Gavin Williamson, states that the UK’s “special relationship” with the US could be at risk if the UK does not increase its defence spending.

In the letter – leaked to the Sun newspaper in June 2018 – Jim Mattis notes:

“I am concerned that your ability to continue to provide this critical military foundation for diplomatic success is at risk of erosion, while together we face a world awash with change.”


MOD Response

In response to the letter and claims that France is already enhancing its defence strategy to take the UK’s spot as the US’s closest defence ally, a MOD spokesperson said:

“The UK maintains the biggest defence budget in Europe and we have been clear we will continue to exceed NATO’s 2% spending target. The Defence Secretary launched the Modernising Defence Programme to strengthen our Armed Forces in the face of intensifying threats.”

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has introduced the Modernising Defence Programme to create a Britain that is “fit for the future”.

As part of this programme, the MOD will invest in intelligence, surveillance, and state of the art equipment and vehicles, making now a key time for suppliers looking for defence procurement opportunities.


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